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The All-White Elephant in the Room

Thursday, May 08, 2008

By FRANK RICH
Published: May 4, 2008

BORED by those endless replays of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright? If so, go directly to YouTube, search for “John Hagee Roman Church Hitler,” and be recharged by a fresh jolt of clerical jive.

What you’ll find is a white televangelist, the Rev. John Hagee, lecturing in front of an enormous diorama. Wielding a pointer, he pokes at the image of a woman with Pamela Anderson-sized breasts, her hand raising a golden chalice. The woman is “the Great Whore,” Mr. Hagee explains, and she is drinking “the blood of the Jewish people.” That’s because the Great Whore represents “the Roman Church,” which, in his view, has thirsted for Jewish blood throughout history, from the Crusades to the Holocaust.

Mr. Hagee is not a fringe kook but the pastor of a Texas megachurch. On Feb. 27, he stood with John McCain and endorsed him over the religious conservatives’ favorite, Mike Huckabee, who was then still in the race.

Are we really to believe that neither Mr. McCain nor his camp knew anything then about Mr. Hagee’s views? This particular YouTube video — far from the only one — was posted on Jan. 1, nearly two months before the Hagee-McCain press conference. Mr. Hagee appears on multiple religious networks, including twice daily on the largest, Trinity Broadcasting, which reaches 75 million homes. Any 12-year-old with a laptop could have vetted this preacher in 30 seconds, tops....(Click here for remainder of article).

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Hillary's Bitter Victory

How the Democratic campaign turned into an absurd and acrimonious culture war that threatens to split the party in two

By Matt Taibbi
Rolling Stone Magazine

Zero hour, the night of the excruciating Pennsylvania primary. I'm in the ballroom of the Park Hyatt hotel in Philadelphia, site of Hillary Clinton's victory speech. The place is going nuts. The floor is a teeming mass of celebrating Lifetime demographic; I haven't seen this many strong, independent women in one place since [potentially offensive gender-specific content self-censored by writer]. Clinton, who has just kicked Obama's ass all over the state, is onstage spooning out her rap.

"You know, for me, the victory we share tonight is deeply personal," Hillary says. "It was here in Pennsylvania where my grandfather started work as a boy in the lace mills. . . ."

"Really?" I say from my perch in the press balcony, nudging an HBO producer next to me. "Her grandfather worked in a lace mill? I hadn't heard that!"

"Yeah, right?" she says, laughing. "Who knew?"

But I'm catching stares now from a camera woman kneeling a few feet in front. "You clap at these things," she snaps at us. "That's what you do at these things. You clap. You should be clapping!"

I clap quietly to calm her down, sighing once she turns around. In the past, the press areas at campaign stops have always been wisecracking oases, a place where the rules of partisan politics are largely suspended. After all, this job is hard enough without having to take the subject matter seriously. But as the Obama-Clinton race has devolved into one of the all-time political death matches, the Hutu-Tutsi thing has spread even into the reporter ranks. Now, even one wrong word on the press bus can start a fight....(Click here for remainder of article).

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One million cancelled or altered - The Incredible Disappearing Indiana Voter Rolls

By Bev Harris
blackboxvoting.org


In April 2008 when Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita announced the release of "record high" voter registration rolls, with 4.3 million voters set to vote in the Tuesday May 6 primary, he didn't mention that a whopping 1,134,427 voter registrations have been cancelled.

Now, the voter rolls are supposed to be tidied up prior to each election. Indiana's last general election was in Nov. 2006, and they have had a slew of special and general elections since then. So how have 1.1 million voters -- 26 percent of the current statewide list -- escaped the regularly scheduled voter registration cleanup squads? Who are these million voters and where do they come from?

One quarter-million of them come from just two northwestern Indiana counties: Lake and Porter. Lake County reports purging 137,164 voters and neighboring Porter County cancelled out 124,958 voters.

Lake County, the home of Gary, Indiana, has spawned the Jackson Five and a great old musical (The Music Man) and and has been referred to as "the second most liberal county in America." Lake County has one of the heaviest concentrations of African-American voters that you'll find anywhere in the USA.

Nearby Porter County, the home of Valparaiso, is 95% white and went solidly for Bush in the 2004 election. It also has a lot of college kids.

For whatever reason, these two counties had ... what ... massive data entry problems? Exceptionally messy records? Lots of dead people who climbed back into their graves? Or will we see a lot of disappointed voters on Tuesday, when they perhaps learn that they were among the lucky million people who got purged?

HERE'S WHERE THE HEAVIEST PURGES ARE:

Lake 137,164 48% (Gary)
Porter 124,958 115% (Valparaiso)
Marion 68,120 10% (Indianapolis)
Monroe 66,009 85% (Bloomington)
Tippecanoe 53,456 58%
Madison 42,952 47% (Anderson)
Hamilton 42,325 26%

The percentage represents the ratio of the number of purges to the current voter list. Example: If a location currently has 100,000 voters on its rolls, and purged 53,000 along the way, we assign a ratio of 53% to the purge vs. current list....(Click here for remainder of post).

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Support for Clinton Wanes as Obama Sees Finish Line

By PATRICK HEALY and JEFF ZELENY
Published: May 8, 2008


Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton struck a publicly defiant posture on Wednesday about continuing her presidential bid despite waning support from Democratic officials and donors. Some of her advisers acknowledged privately that they remained unsure about the future of her candidacy.

With the political world trained on Mrs. Clinton’s financial and electoral viability, Senator Barack Obama moved closer to becoming the first African-American presidential nominee of a major party. Mr. Obama spent the day at home in Chicago, after increasing his delegate lead in Tuesday’s primaries — a result that led David Plouffe, a top Obama aide, to say on Wednesday, “We can see the finish line here.”

After a decisive loss in North Carolina and a disappointingly narrow victory in Indiana on Tuesday night, Mrs. Clinton told advisers that she wanted to start campaigning for next Tuesday’s primary in West Virginia, advisers said. At 3 a.m. Wednesday, aides added a noon event there. She was also eager to get away from Beltway buzzards circling her candidacy and feeding off fresh tidbits like the revelation that she had lent her campaign $6 million to keep it afloat, aides said.

In West Virginia on Wednesday afternoon, Mrs. Clinton said that it was “still early” — even though 50 of 56 nominating contests have concluded — and that the “dynamic electoral environment” could still swing the nomination her way....(Click here for remainder of article).

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Clinton gives herself loan and vows to fight on

By John Whitesides, Political Correspondent Reuters
Published: May 8, 2008


WASHINGTON: Barack Obama took a commanding lead in the Democratic presidential race on Wednesday, but Hillary Clinton said she would fight on after loaning her campaign $6.4 million (3.27 million pounds) to keep it alive.

Obama's big win in North Carolina and Clinton's slim victory in Indiana widened his advantage in their battle for the right to face Republican John McCain in the November presidential election with just six contests remaining.

The results left the cash-strapped Clinton campaign with few opportunities to halt Obama's march to the nomination. But the New York senator remained defiant.

"I'm staying in this race until there is a nominee," Clinton told reporters after a campaign rally in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, which holds the next contest on Tuesday.

Clinton dipped into her personal fortune again in the past month to try to keep pace with Obama, putting $5 million into her campaign chest on April 11 and $1.4 million over the past week, aides said. It was the second time she used her own money to fund her White House bid....(Click here for remainder of article).

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Amid Talk of the End and Boos From the Crowd, Clinton Carries On

By JOHN M. BRODER
Published: May 8, 2008


SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. — Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s greatest gift may be her ability to remain upright and smiling as chaos and chagrin surround her.

On what was probably one of the toughest days of her campaign so far, with pundits and analysts of all stripes declaring her presidential candidacy finished, Mrs. Clinton put on her battle face Wednesday and confronted what was at times a hostile crowd at a hastily arranged speech here at Shepherd University.

Shepherdstown, a quaint and hippieish town on the Potomac River in the West Virginia Panhandle, is where Robert E. Lee led his Confederate Army in retreat after the battle of Antietam, the single bloodiest day of the Civil War.

Mrs. Clinton endured boos when she mentioned her proposal for a gasoline tax holiday, catcalls when she spoke of ending the Iraq war and, most difficult of all, the heckling of her daughter, Chelsea, who introduced her.

“End the dynasty!” a young man holding an Obama poster shouted when Chelsea Clinton stepped to the microphone....(Click here for remainder of article).

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Ex-Sen. George McGovern drops Clinton, backs Obama

By Thomas Ferraro
Reuters
Wednesday, May 7, 2008; 2:37 PM


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Veteran Democratic Party figure George McGovern dropped his support for Hillary Clinton on Wednesday and endorsed Barack Obama, saying the Illinois senator seemed certain to win the party's nomination for the November presidential election.

McGovern, 85, said he told Clinton's husband, former President Bill Clinton, of his surprise decision in a telephone call, and that Clinton made no attempt to change his mind.

"He just wanted me to know that he thinks that Hillary has made a great race and it's up to her to decide when she leaves. And I don't argue with that," McGovern said.

He was speaking a day after Obama appeared to edge nearer securing the party nomination in the protracted state-by-state contest when he easily defeated Clinton in North Carolina and only narrowly lost to her in Indiana on Tuesday.

McGovern, a former U.S. senator from South Dakota who made a failed bid for the White House in 1972, told Reuters by telephone from his home in Mitchell, South Dakota: "It's time for us to unite and get ready for the fall campaign."

With Obama within 200 delegates of wrapping up the nomination, said, "All the mathematics seem to be on his side."...(Click here for remainder of article).

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Clinton Still In The Race, But Faces Major Hurdles

By Chris Cillizza
washingtonpost.com


Ever since Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) swept 11 straight contests between Feb. 5 and March 4, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's (N.Y.) path to the Democratic presidential nomination has been a narrow one.

Obama's winning streak not only gave him momentum (and money) but also something close to an insurmountable lead among pledged delegates and the popular vote. While Clinton's wins in Ohio and Pennsylvania put off talk of just how perilous her path had become, the results from last night's votes have put the difficult task before Clinton in sharp relief.

Clinton's campaign made no secret that they believed she was on the upswing in advance of the votes in North Carolina and Indiana; they had hoped for a high single-digit win in Indiana and a close single-digit loss in North Carolina. Neither materialized, and the heavy weight of expectations overturned are being visited on the Clinton campaign today.

For now, her campaign is insisting she will continue on in the race. Senior adviser Howard Wolfson answered "no" when asked whether there were any discussions under way about her dropping out of the race....(Click here for remainder of article).

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Rush Limbaugh urges vote for Obama

If you believe any of the tripe this "man" says, I've got a bridge for you in New York that I'd like to sell you. You know know the entire reason that this douche bag wants his mindless followers to vote for Clinton, is because the Rape-publicans know that they CANNOT beat Obama. In actuality, with Blow Hard Number 1 making these statements, you can take that as the truth.

By Alexander Mooney
CNN


WASHINGTON (CNN) -- He has publicly urged Republicans to vote for Sen. Hillary Clinton to keep the divisive Democratic nomination fight alive, but talk radio host Rush Limbaugh said Wednesday he really wants Sen. Barack Obama to be the party's nominee.

"I now believe he would be the weakest of the Democrat nominees," Limbaugh, among the most powerful voices in conservative radio, said on his program. "I now urge the Democrat superdelegates to make your mind up and publicly go for Obama."

"Barack Obama has shown he cannot get the votes Democrats need to win -- blue-collar, working-class people," Limbaugh said. "He can get effete snobs, he can get wealthy academics, he can get the young, and he can get the black vote, but Democrats do not win with that."

But Jamal Simmons, a Democratic strategist and Obama supporter, disagreed, saying the Democratic Party has "the best coalition to go out and talk to people across racial lines, which are the unions."...(Click here for remainder of article).

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